This week, Hubs and I released twelve ducks. They came to the rescue as tiny ducklings, in two’s and three’s. Once they were given a clean bill of health, we put them into a water aviary together.
Before a release can begin, ducks have to be caught. We have tried and tested many different methods over the years and have concluded that the most efficient way to round them up is for one member of staff to herd them with a large brush, to the back of the shed, while another member of staff catches them as they make a break for it, at the front.
I was at the front. Everyone who catches ducks knows, that as soon as you grab one, they poop on you, and of course they all performed that little task beautifully leaving me covered in duck poop! Some managed multiple bowel movements!
Hubs was extremely reluctant to let me into the car!
To add insult to injury, a small crowd always gathers to witness the duck catching, and let me tell you that it rarely goes smoothly, many dodge capture and the entire operation is a frantic, frenzied pantomime, despite our best efforts. We always end up with tangled arms and legs and seem to specialize in running into each other or slipping in duck poop. Ducks, by nature, are always so vocal, oh, the commotion, oh the pandemonium….it’s all such a kerfuffle, always ending with one or two, impossible-to-catch-ducks, smirking at us from the safety of the water. I always wish I had six arms and lightening reflexes!
Once caught, quacky, irate ducks are quickly driven to a canal and part two of the debacle begins.
Now the aim is to get them all into the water at the same time, ensuring that the group stays together, as there is safety in numbers for newbie ducks in strange territory.
This exercise is a little like duck catching, only in reverse. All the cage doors are opened at the same time and I’m always hopeful that the ducks will jump out….together. They don’t!
One or two will go, the rest grip the floor of their crates with a tenacity that is astounding, they hang on in there for grim death. I have even resorted to tipping the crates, as time is of the essence and yet, the ducks still remain in there.
The only way to get them out is to grab them, at the speed of light and drop them one by one into the water. Again, a crowd always gathers to watch as duck after duck poops on me.
I often enroll members of the public to act as duck-herders, in the event of any deviants deciding to run down the canal instead of jumping into the water.
I have to say that freed ducks are a joy to watch, how they delight in ducking, dipping and diving, flapping, stretching and swimming!
Happily, this group stayed together and hubs and I settled down with several cold beers to watch them for a few hours while they learnt their first duck-life-lessons from mother ducks and moorhens. Our little lot turned out to be thugs who backed each other up, they’ll go far!
I always hang around until the ducks get out of the water, I like to check that they successfully avoid people and dogs…..they passed that test with flying colours!
My friend loves sangria and often visits, bringing all the ingredients to make her own, I never have a large enough jug so she usually uses a flower vase.
She won’t have to any longer.
Hubs has been working in Manila for a few weeks and bought me this fabulous barrel, made of banana wood.
Friend is delighted! Just Perfect!